Over the coming decades the demographic trends will fundamentally change the make-up of the population deserved by Quebec Emergency Departments (ED). By 2031, the proportion of the population greater than 65 will nearly double, with the largest increases occurring among those 85 years of age and older.
In this proposal, delirium is defined as a mental disorder of acute onset with a fluctuating course, characterized by a disturbance in consciousness, attention, orientation, memory, thought, perception and behavior. It is a common problem among older people admitted to acute and long-term care facilities, according to experts. However, the incidence of ED-induced delirium is less well studied and often unrecognized, compared to critical care unit literature.
The onset of delirium in ED could influence hospital length of stay and hospital/ED overcrowding. "Senior-friendly" ED approach has been put forward over the last years by provincial authorities, but effects on the incidence and consequences of delirium episode remain unknown. In fact, basic facts such as the number of patients who become delirious while in the ED or shortly after (24-48h) remain unexplored.
This project aim to solve this knowledge gap. Without an appreciation for such basic facts, the future planning of preventative ED interventions such as the "approche adaptée" and others remain problematic.